A CALIFORNIAN mom has died and two others have become seriously ill after they all underwent plastic surgery in Mexico on the same day, at the same clinic, performed by the same doctor named Dr Jesus Manuel Baez Lopez.
The trio were enticed by the prospect of cheap surgery and made the trip from California to Tijuana for the ops on January 29.
But Keuana Weaver, a 38-year-old mom-of-two died while on the operating table at the Art Siluette Aesthetic Surgery, when her liposuction and tummy tuck went terribly wrong.
Her friend, Kanisha Davis, also underwent the same procedure performed by the same surgeon – Dr Jesus Manuel Baez Lopez.
The nurse returned home to Long Beach to find out Keuana had died, before she began projectile vomiting, bleeding internally and was left with a hematoma.
She said she “knew something was off” when during her surgery as she was not hooked up to any monitors, and she was released immediately afterwards with no further testing to a hotel room to recover.
“If I hadn’t gone into the hospital when I did, I would have died,” Davis explained. “I was slowly bleeding to death. I was weak.”
She was hospitalized for two weeks in wake of the surgery that killed her friend.
A third woman, Esmeralda Iniguez, was also operated on by Baez on the same day – nearly died from septic shock after her procedure.
She was rushed across the border to Chula Vista where she was “literally hours from death” as her “kidneys were shutting down”.
“He tightened my abdominal muscles too much, squishing all my organs together and cutting off blood supply to my kidneys, causing something called Abdominal Compartment Syndrome,” Iniguez told The San Diego Union Tribune.
She has been in and out of hospital ever since her botched op left her with kidney failure and wounds susceptible to re-infection.
The women have since joined a Facebook group titled “Botched by Baez” which has acquired more than 600 members.
Davis and Iniguez have both considered legal options but have been overwhelmed with their health issues, medical bills, and cross-border law to begin any proceedings.
All three operations were performed by the clinic’s director, Dr Baez, who is not a member of the local association of plastic surgeons.
In 2015, he had another of his clinics shut down for “failing to meet the minimum requirements to operate legally,” the Mail reports.
The mother of the late Keuana has demanded answers for her daughter’s untimely death – and admitted she wasn’t even aware she had travelled to Tijuana for the op.
“I’m heartbroken. I want to know what happened,” Renee Weaver said.
She showed the newspaper a letter from the clinic offering to refund her daughter’s $6,700 surgery, that she believed Keuana was heading to Florida for.
Renee tragically only learnt the news when a family member called to inform her of Keuana’s passing, after she reportedly suffered a “secondary hypoxic encephalopathy” – a brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation.
The “independent, loving, smart and very intelligent black woman” leaves behind a 13-year-old and a 1-year-old.
“I’m mostly sad this happened to my daughter because she was already so beautiful to me, inside and out, she just couldn’t see it,” Renee continued.
The trip across the border for budget surgery is not uncommon, with an estimated 2.4 million making the trip from California to Tijuana in 2018, according to Baja California’s Secretary of Sustainable Economy and Tourism.
“Did we know we were taking a risk being in Mexico? Yes,” Davis continued. “But did we ever, at any time, think that risk would be death? No.”